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Are Winter Tyres Worth It?
5th December 2017
When temperatures drop driving conditions change and the road can become more difficult to contend with. Surfaces freeze and thaw making roads slippery and potentially dangerous – but how can winter tyres help to keep us safe on the road?
What is a Winter Tyre?
Many drivers believe summer tyres to be ‘standard tyres’, as they are usually what are fitted to your vehicle during manufacturing. As well as summer tyres, most tyre manufacturers also create winter and all season tyres which are designed to provide high levels of performance and safety when temperatures are not ‘summer’ (classed as above 7°C).
Winter tyres are popular in countries which experience colder temperatures and greater amounts of snow than the UK and in some parts of Europe it is a legal requirement to fit winter tyres to your vehicle during certain times of the year.
Although they are not a legal requirement in the UK, winter tyres have steadily become more popular as tyre tests continue to prove the safety benefits of these tyres in snow, ice and cold temperatures.
Why are Winter Tyres Different?
Winter tyres are designed differently to summer tyres as they are engineered to best suit the weather conditions associated with winter.
They are constructed using a harder compound than that used in summer tyres and this enables the tyre to retain flexibility when temperatures drop below 7°C. At low temperatures, summer tyres will stiffen and are no longer able to provide high gripping capabilities, meaning that braking distances become longer.
Winter tyres are also designed with a larger amount of sipes and grooves so that they can bite to the road and retain contact for enhanced traction on snow and ice covered roads.
Should I Fit Winter Tyres?
Winter tyres are a great investment for your safety on the road but only if you actually need them! If temperatures do not tend to drop below 7°C where you live and you rarely experience snow and ice, winter tyres may not be necessary for you – although, you may wish to consider all season tyres.
If you do face low temperatures and winter weather conditions, Merityre Specialists would advise fitting winter tyres to your vehicle when temperatures have dropped to a consistent average of 7°C. In most parts of the UK this tends to be between October and April.
Storing Summer Tyres
The main disadvantage of using winter tyres is the hassle of removing and storing your summer tyres for half of the year. Merityre Specialists are dedicated to the safety of our customers which is why we offer a Tyre Hotel!
Simply contact your local Merityre Specialists branch to buy and/or arrange fitment of your winter tyres and we will store your summer tyres until it is time to switch back.
You will be charged for the storage, fitting and balancing of seasonal tyres.
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